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Hints & Tips

Preloved Plumbing Guide

Preloved member, John, has put together a handy Preloved Plumbing Guide, designed so that you (might) not ever have to call a plumber again.

A guide to (almost) never having to call a plumber again

As a ‘typical’ male of the species I hate asking anyone for help – it just doesn’t sit very well with me and I have no doubt that there are many of you in the six million strong Preloved community who feel exactly the same.

Whether it’s needing directions, using a new smartphone, or installing a tap, I am doing it myself and nobody else is getting any credit!

Because of my unhealthy level of stubbornness, and the fact I work with a heating company, I’ve put together a list of a few plumbing jobs that people like me can do to save some cash (and without having to ask for help). This is my guide to ‘almost’ never having to call a plumber again.

Know Where Stuff Is

First thing’s first; the simplest, quickest, and most fool-proof way of saving cash when it comes to plumbing is knowing how to turn your water off.

That might sound simple, but if something goes wrong with your plumbing in the middle of the night and you can turn off your water till the morning, you’ll save an average of around £100 on avoiding the emergency call-out fee.

You can turn your water off at the stop-cock, which is normally located under your kitchen sink or in a cupboard under the stairs. This is where the mains water enters your house there should be a tap to turn it off.

Find your stop-cock, tighten it up, open all your taps and allow the remaining water in the system to drain away. By doing this, you can get yourself back to bed and worry about calling the plumber in the morning.

Invest in a Tool Kit

Tool kit

Having an adjustable spanner and a set of screwdrivers in the house will mean that you have the tools to tackle quite a lot of basic plumbing problems by yourself.

There are lots of everyday plumbing jobs you can do that don’t need the attention of a specialist. From bleeding a radiator to fixing a tap, learning how to do things for yourself will not only help you to save some pennies, but also broaden your DIY knowledge.

Installing a Radiator

installing a radiator

To many of you this might sound like a difficult job, but trust me, with a bit of care it’s really quite easy and it could save you some cash.

The average cost of getting a plumber to remove an old radiator and fit a new one (that you’ve supplied yourself) is around £80. That’s without them having to move any pipework or anything!

That’s £80 you could put towards getting a better and more attractive radiator. To get this job done properly, make sure you’ve got your toolbox to hand and watch this informative guide I made.

Remove a Radiator for Decorating

removing a radiator

Not technically a plumbing job, but rather a job that involves plumbing, moving a radiator to decorate behind it is a pretty simple task.

I would recommend getting someone to help though, because some radiators can be quite cumbersome and difficult to manoeuvre by yourself.

  • Turn off the radiator valves by turning them clockwise.
  • Put a couple of towels and a bowl under one of the valves.
  • Undo the radiator nut and let the water drain into the bowl (opening the bleed valve will speed up the drain).
  • When you can see no more water close the bleed nipple and undo the nut on the other side of the radiator.
  • With help, pull the radiator away from the wall and tip any remaining fluid into the bowl.
  • Bung up the radiator outlets with tissue and remove your radiator from its wall brackets.
  • Get decorating!
  • When you’ve finished decorating behind the radiator, put it back on the brackets and tighten up the valves.
  • Refill the radiator, being sure to follow your boiler manufacturer’s instructions.

So there you have it, if you are as stubborn as a mule (like me), want to do things for yourself (also like me) and get your hands dirty, I hope these tips help you to start your journey to DIY greatness!

John Lawless

John Lawless

Community User

John writes regular articles on Home Improvement and DIY. He enjoys discovering new ways of saving money and sometimes shares these tips on his blog.